Hiking Mt. Jo and ADK Things

This weekend was full of Adirondack goodness. I went camping near Lake Placid with my friends Meredith and John. We had grand plans of hiking some high peaks this past weekend, but weather diminished them. However, the weather was still great on Saturday after we set up camp, and decided that we better get a hike in now, just to say we saw  some views.

Enter Mt. Jo.

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The trail to Mt. Jo is at the Adirondack Loj parking lot. It was a short hike, so we didn’t mind starting the hike at about 4:30pm. First we stopped to see Heart Lake.

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Then we began the 1.1 mile climb on the “short trail” to the summit of Mt. Jo. It was short, but steep!

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There were some great views up here, right in the middle of the high peaks! We could see Algonquin, Wright, Iroquois, Marcy, and even Haystack.

We took the long trail back down, which wasn’t as steep. The sun started going down when we got back to Heart Lake.

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Mt. Jo
2.6 mi RT
Elevation: 2,876′

After our hike, we drove into Lake Placid for dinner at the Pub. (I recommend the Moose Island Ale with the Maple Cheddar Melt.) Then we went back to the campground for the night. We were staying at Lincoln Pond Campground in Elizabethtown, about 45 minutes from Lake Placid.

The following morning it was gloomy, and it looked like it was about to rain any second! So instead of going on our hike, we drove back into Placid for brunch at a great spot called the Breakfast Club. The food was amazing! We then wandered around town and stopped to get maple creme soft serve.

Some other random Adirondack things we did on Sunday:

  • Saw the antique car show parade drive down Main Street
  • Drove to Saranac Lake to see what Hobofest was all about
  • Had a tasting at Blue Line Brewery
  • Stopped to browse at the Mountaineer
  • Tried the famous pie at the Noonmark Diner {I recommend the raspberry rhubarb crumble}
  • Wandered around a unique antique shop
  • Enjoyed the view at Cascade Lakes

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When our hiking plans fell through, we looked at it as an opportunity to do all the things we have been wanting to do when in Lake Placid, but never had time for in the past!

Brown and Five Mile Mountain – Tongue Mountain Range

On Saturday I took my good friend Sarah on a hike near Lake George. I hiked with her for the first time back in 2008 when I was first getting into shape and we hiked Sleeping Beauty together–it has been nearly six years since we did that hike! I wanted to do an easy hike on Saturday because I still had to do my long run on Sunday, so I picked part of the Tongue Mountain Range–the trail to Five Mile Mountain.

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The book of day hikes that I have boasted that this hike had amazing views. About 3 miles into the hike I deemed it the book of lies.

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Two miles in we reached the lean-to and possibly the summit of Brown Mountain, which had a small view of the surrounding mountains, but mostly of the trees. I did get to see many tiny red salamanders on the trail, along with plenty of mushrooms.

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The book I had also said that the summit of Five Mile Mountain was .7 miles away from the lean-to. It seemed like it was more than that–unfortunately I forgot to wear my GPS so I couldn’t track our mileage. The trail kept winding up and down and eventually we came to what we thought was the summit.

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It had a pretty, although limited view of Lake George, not as good as the book made it seem. But it was nice to stop and enjoy the sun for a little bit, while we chatted with the two other people up top–the only other two we saw on the summit.

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Not many others were hiking this trail on that day.

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Brown Mountain & Five Mile Mountain via the North end of the Tongue Mountain Range Trail
~8 mi RT
Brown Mountain Elevation: 1,965′
Five Mile Mountain Elevation: 2,258′

The Shore

A couple weeks ago I went down to New Jersey to visit my sister–we had a reason to celebrate! She and her boyfriend Brian got engaged!!

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He popped the question a few weeks ago, and I had already been planning to visit, so it was extra special to be down there and chat about wedding things!

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One night when I was there, they took me to a brewery called Kane, located in Ocean, NJ. Their tasting room was really crowded and the beer was good!

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The following day we went to Long Beach Island for some sun and sand! What a pretty beach. It was crowded though. I spent some time actually in the water, which was nice. I don’t usually swim in the ocean, but this was fun.

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For lunch we went to Chicken or the Egg, which is a popular wing place made famous by the Travel Channel. It was BYOB so we brought some drinks to have with lunch.

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It was an awesome weekend !

Blackhead Mountian

Yesterday I took a day off from work to hike with my friend Brendan. He had the whole week off for vacation and Monday’s weather was looking fantastic, so I suggested we go down to the Catskills. I found three mountains we could hike, but ultimately decided just do one to make it a short day: Blackhead Mountain, the fifth highest Catskill peak, part of the 35 over 3,500 ft.

We parked at the Big Hollow parking lot in Maplecrest and started our hike at 11:00AM. Late for me! The first mile or so of trail was relatively easy and flat, a nice little walk in the woods with a few stream crossings. Then we started climbing, up up up along a very rocky trail! Thankfully it was only about 1 mile of climbing to the first view point on Blackhead.

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The first and only real view we got.

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A short walk ontop of the mountain lead us to the true summit, a flat rock to sit and rest and eat a snack, but no view. Boo!

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Just a few signs, but no summit marker, at least none that we found.

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We were a little worried about running into a bear but we saw none. We did see about five snakes, though. Eek. One last stop at the view point, where we heard talking. Turns out there were people on the neighboring Black Dome Mountain, which we could see from our mountain. There was nobody else on Blackhead.

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This made for a nice quick hike, as it took us under three hours to hike the whole thing.  It is rated as difficult for Catskill standards, but I found it enjoyable.  I’ll probably go back soon and hike the neighboring Black Dome and Thomas Cole since I’m now familiar with the area!

Blackhead Mountain
4.8 mi RT from Big Hollow
1,922′ Ascent
3,942′ Elevation
Catskill 3500 Rank: 5 of 35

Country Long Run

Sunday was my first “long run longer than a half marathon” for this marathon training cycle! At 9 am I went out for a 16 mile run, the longest I’ve run since May 26, 2013. The run went pretty well, despite being muggy out. I ran on some back roads near my house and it was gorgeous. There were numerous gardens, rolling hills and farms to see.

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I was planning on doing two 8 mile loops with a stop at my house, but then decided against it because there was a slight chance I might not want to go back out after coming home. So I packed a Camelbak with 50oz of water and a Gu and off I went. The run took a little over three hours because the route I chose wasn’t exactly flat.

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I did see some interesting things on my run, including some white geese running through the woods, a deer, and this cute little guy chained up in someone’s driveway.

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I was losing energy by the end of my run, mostly because it was really hot and I ran out of water on the last mile. I also should have brought more calories, since one Gu wasn’t enough for that long of a run. Marathon training finally feels real, and I am very excited to run 26.2 again in October.